Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

New Videos for Primary

With distance learning, I have started the primary videos all over again and introducing the concepts to my very eager family. Not just "Piglet" but Fishicorn and two more with as-yet-not-chosen screen names. 

After so many issues with the older videos, I finally just started from scratch. 

These videos represent a realistic experience with new-to-Montessori homeschooling. Their home is not "Montessori" but in the same spirit is generally clutter-free and open, laid out for the needs of the entire family. We used what they had on hand as much as possible until we started on the specifically Montessori materials. 

Just a reminder to myself even how much of Montessori is not about the specific materials but about the environment and using what you have on hand! 

Join us at Keys of the World for access to the primary videos

Sampling of the videos added
1.9 GB 
This image isn't even a third! 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Accessing Keys Montessori Resources


Individual Subject Albums with Videos – varying prices

Add-on Online Support $15/subject 
Accessed on private website

Full-Pay Albums, Videos, Support $400 

16-segment – $40 for the first; $25 each thereafter (total $415) 

8-segment – $65 for the first; $50 thereafter (total $415)



Albums: Individual Subjects or Complete Set

Videos: Individual Subjects or Complete Set 

Online Support: Individual Subjects or Complete Set
Accessed on private website

Adolescent Options

Primary (2.5-6)

Albums: Individual Subjects or Complete Set 

Videos: Individual Subjects or Complete Set

Online Support: Individual Subjects or Complete Set 
Accessed on private website

Infant-Toddler Options

Includes everything from Keys of the Universe Montessori and from Keys of the World sites.


Image of the Chart above, showing the 4 main locations for Keys of the World and Keys of the Universe resources and what is offered at each one.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Geometry Blooper - Let's try those Polygons again!

Stage fright is a real thing, even when your face isn't on the camera this time! ;) 

Poor foot! 

Monday, July 20, 2020

New Video Partner for Keys of the Universe

My darling niece is taking the place of Joshua (Legoboy) for making some of our Keys of the Universe videos.

Here is a blooper sample from our first set of videos filmed in over 9 months.

She needs a screen-name.... Hmmm.....

Despite being a temporary invalid, all-new to Montessori and we're not filming in my normal location, she is a great video partner so far!

There was a hair stuck in her stress ball - looked like it was growing out of the ball.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Legoboy's Schooling - What did he actually use?

Legoboy used many resources in addition to Montessori throughout his life education. Many of these resources I have previously written about on Montessori Trails. A Keys of the Universe parent asked me to write some explicit posts about our supplements, so here goes!

The first Great Lesson story we tell in elementary is The Creation of the Universe or God with No Hands. This story tells of the creation of the universe and the formation of the earth, with the ultimate goal to demonstrate the laws of nature and the utter obedience of all particles to these laws. 
Just about every child studies volcanoes so of course we did too! No particular resources used - videos, trips to our local museum, books. 

He did fall in love with all things POMPEII! And as luck would have it, our local museum center had a special exhibit, so we picked up a few resources there: videos, books, cards. 

The Story of God with No Hands opens up the Geography album. Within geography, we have studies on the universe, nature of elements, sun and earth, work of water, work of air, human geography, and economic geography. In addition to the Montessori experience, Legoboy utilized the following the most heavily: 

Monday, April 27, 2020

High School Work Plan

Legoboy and I have had a few life experiences in the last 3 years. These experiences have ranged from absolutely amazingly wonderful to the most terrifyingly horrific.

Needless to say, schooling had to work around and through life, as it always has for us: fully integrated and meeting our family's unique needs.

Legoboy and I worked together to develop his high school work plan. Way back when, we started with a daily work plans, moved to a weekly and a monthly (click on the "work plan" tag at the bottom of this post to see our other work plans through the years). Now, we can start looking at mapping out a multi-year education plan.

Legoboy was looking at college studies in architecture and started his high school plan with what those kinds of colleges were looking for in a potential's student's history. Together, we then compared those to the local high school requirements and developed a personal transcript form.

We then went through it and filled in names of courses and resources used for each. He organized which items he wanted to do in each year, if there was a preference or an order, so he could get a feel for where the non-preferences would naturally fit in.

A notebook contains our notes for each course, which flesh out the names of the resources on the transcripts, describe the required areas of study in each subject, desired areas of interest in each subject, final project for each subject and any other pertinent information.

Legoboy finished up all but one of the final 9th grade requirements in October of 2019, having already begun some of his 10th and even 11th grade plans. The plan was to take the month of November off, with the exception of finalizing his research paper which was more for fun than for academics.

He took the resources he was going to use for 10th grade and organized them out by the months of the school year. This wasn't a perfect document because some of the bolded main headings didn't make it onto the printed page from the Excel made he had created.

He really wanted to organize things into something akin to a block schedule. Fewer areas of focused study, more intensely, then swap it up. Just a few things were every month, including literature and apologetics.

Each month we were to read together at least one book of extra-cultural origin, with the goal of reaching around the world, with representative samples from each continent.

He was also continuing with his taekwondo (working towards second degree black belt) having started discussing 28 hours earlier about opening a school with his first instructor. Service projects and involvement in our church community as well as the community at large through various venues.

He had started applying for jobs and would have started driver's education in December.

The specific resources don't matter at this age as much as the planning, the organization - the personal responsibility and integrity.

But for those interested, here are some highlighted resources that suit Montessori educated students:

One thing he was REALLY looking forward to and we were starting to case out a few options: 
Speech. Read: DEBATE. He wanted to master the fine points of debate. ;) 

I wish he had lost the final debate of his life. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Elementary Work Plan - Age 8 - over three summer weeks

Want to download this one?
See this link: Description of this Montessori work plan
I found these work plans in my son's papers.

June 18 work plan, finished the following week.

Then July 4 week.

He was 8 years old that summer.

These elementary Montessori work plans were developed based on the conversations we had together about next steps in each area, personal goals and plans, items already on our schedule (outings, etc.). The work plan conversation takes into consideration local education requirements (my parental and our family values, checking the local school requirements from time to time to see what kind of terminology is used and topics are covered), his personal interests and our family culture.

Joshua assisted me with our family business from the very beginning, so there are references to office management in there.

He was also helping to make some videos as well as needed/wanted review on some concepts, so you'll see some typically earlier items on this list. Some things we just didn't start until later, because he is a typical child in the regard of there never being just one right path!

We worked together as a team his entire life. That doesn't mean we did everything together, joined at the hip; it means we coordinated together and supported each other's personal time/interests. In that spirit, even at him being 8 years old, I still did some of the work plan writing for him.

Some more details

The first work plan pictured here was two weeks worth of work. Inititally it had one week on it; most of which he finished, but enough was undone that we just carried it over to the following week and added to it.

Astronomy: The boxes indicate he had activities to do on separate days (they could not be grouped together). He was working through the book Signs and Seasons and there were daily observations and record-keeping. This chart was work over 2 weeks. He had finished the first week (June 18) in chapter 6, so we added chapter 7 activities for the last week of June. Hence the additional boxes.

Homemaking: "Office assistant" refers to a set of particular skills/experiences he wanted to learn at that time - I don't even remember what they were those particular weeks but it could have been organizing paperwork, typing some things on the Montessori Trails blog (he created the infant-toddler page with the list of links at one point, for example). "Organize" was probably referring specifically to our home. We had some minor life adjustments at the time and needed to get our physical space more up to date with our needs.

Latin: He used Lingua Angelica at the time and he created the flashcards. We still have them. I just found one the week before last that he had been using as a bookmark recently. Crown was the English word. Crown in Latin? Corona. His godfather was going through the items on Joshua's side table when he found this card and was completely floored. The timing.

TKD: Taekwondo - he had 1-4 classes a week (open class, he could attend any number of them) and he practiced at home. He liked to have that on his work plan so he had a better idea as he looked at it each day how much time he could allocate for each thing.

Chores: standard chores - morning, mid-day and evening times.

Attitude: there was something he wanted to work on at the time to improve himself.

First LA simple: Logical Analysis, simple sentences - from the Elementary Montessori Language album.

Adj = Adjectives: he was working through the grammar boxes again as he wanted some review on them.

Exercise 4 Verb: Language album again. I don't recall the timing, if this was a presentation or a work. But he didn't get to it, even after two weeks. It looks like we got to it the following week.

Runes: His chosen language study at the time. He chose what he studies, how long, goals, when the goals were met, if the goals needed to be changed, if it was just for fun exploration, if there was an intended outcome. But he had time for these personal studies every day.

Speech: he was in speech therapy and chose to write it on his work plan to ensure he remembered it when planning for each day.

Ec-Geo stories: Economic Geography stories. He was helping me research to write these for publication. We never did finish! But we had fun looking stuff up!

4 River Civilizations: Egyptian, then Sumerian - these were our chosen presentations for those two weeks.

History Question Charts: If I recall correctly this was his first presentation on those so he used them to answer questions about the above two civilizations. Once he knew they were available he used them several times on other cultures.

Millions: I have no idea what this was!

Bead Frame: The golden bead frame (flat bead frame). To finetune some skills that we hadn't covered earlier.

Fractions: Underneath he noted that the lesson was on notation. He needed some review because I know we had done those earlier.

Geometry Story: to hear it again

CSE: Congruency, Similarity, Equivalence --- Geometry work

Water: the river = The Work of Water, the River Model. Yeah he loved this. But we didn't get to it then. It came later.

Leafs: Clearly we were still working on spelling ;) We did all of the leaf explorations in the Biology album over the course of this week, the next and later that summer.

Ecosystems: Biology album again. We read books, watched videos and went outside to find some micro-ecosystems.

The second chart: 

Sometimes he or I would note on the work plan the intended day to focus on an activity, such as "Th" for Thursday.

Create "cold" foods - this was an herbal study we had going where we were learning about herbal remedies. So we prepared foods that were suitable for assisting someone with a cold.

Office assistant and declutter continued from the week before, but he also sewed a pouch on the sewing machine. He sewed other things at other times.

Latin - continue the lessons in our own way.

TKD, speech, piano, music cards and Latin cards we decided he needed to practice daily. This is when he started piano - and LOVED it.

For fun, he also built paper pyramids and a paper castle. I still have them somehwere.

Logical Analysis: we added the extensions

Book of Kells: we read it together and he copied some of the art
Illumination - artwork inspired by the Book of Kells

Verb box and commands - Grammar Boxes

History: Calendar from Signs and Seasons

History in 3 Phases from the Montessori History Album

BC/AD timeline

New World Civilizations: Montessori History Album

Practice long multiplication, adding/subtracting fractions of different families (denominators)

Game 3a and 3b from the squares and cubes chapter in the Montessori Elementary Mathematics Album

CSE of the Constructive Triangles from the Geometry Album

Continue long division

He wanted to work on the memorization of math facts. Finally, at age 8, he finally cared!

Leaves: finish and classify

Explore How animals live and move via videos and books

That feels like so much even for 21 days of schooling, but it was just so natural and flowed for us.  Some activities were 5 minutes, some took a few hours.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Toddler Montessori: Shape Sorters

Joshua loved this toy when he was an older infant and toddler. 
I painted the pieces blue so as to isolate the concept of shape, but I left the box unpainted. The bottom I lined with felt because the sounds of the pieces falling into the box. 

When he got older, we used the same pieces to learn the names for each of the shapes and all of the related sensorial games from the sensorial album. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Remedial Mathematics - Video Fun

Just another one for fun.

Remedial mathematics, variation on the 2nd period of the 3 period lesson. Having a little fun - and then it backfired on me!


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Square Roots Videos - NOW POSTED

My son left us in November. I still have many unedited, unposted Montessori lesson videos to share with the world.

I will edit them. I will get them posted. My Joshua is the star of the show. Both wonderful and absolutely heart-breaking. 

This weekend, I created the videos for the Square Roots - they are edited and posted for all Keys of the Universe mathematics owners. 

Where can they be found? 
  • Keys of the Universe course page with the albums:
  • Keys of the Universe discussion community (private link for those who purchase the online support)
  • Keys of the Universe Montessori: - online support and/or the videos purchases will get you access. 

No bloopers this time. But in the months since my son's passing, the golden bead units have come up missing, so here is a clip of me using the green beads in place of gold for the units! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Geometry - Parts of a Circle - Old Work

Some of +Joshua+'s work.

Labeling parts of the circles - and some decimal math work.

I love how he decided to abbreviate "circle" as "circ." - saves SO much time! LOL!